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19 May 2015
Volunteers help repair ancient cairn in Ireland

A group of volunteers has helped to repair a 5,000-year-old burial cairn on one of Northern Ireland's most significant mountains. Around 30 of them trekked to the top of Slieve Gullion in south Armagh to carry out the work, under the supervision of an archaeologist. They helped to fix damage done to the huge passage grave by the weather and increasing numbers of hill walkers. As a result, the entrance to the site was in danger of being blocked.
     Archaeologist Martin Keery, who oversaw the work, praised the enthusiasm of the volunteers who climbed the mountain to help repair what is Ireland's highest passage grave. "This is the highest mountain in this area, so this would have been a prestigious site," Mr Keery said. He said its prominence and size meant the burial chamber would have been used for the cremation of important figures of the period.
     The work was organised by the Ring of Gullion Landscape Partnership which was established to conserve and promote the environment in the area. The mountain also features prominently in Irish mythology. The legendary warrior, Cu Chulainn, is said to have been given his name there after he killed a ferocious guard dog which had attacked him.

Edited from BBC News (18 May 2015)

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